There are exceptions to the statement below, but I think it is a reasonable summation of the current state of research. Master Will You think woodworking is
Message 1 of 1
, Apr 1, 2006
There are exceptions to the statement below, but I think it is a
reasonable summation of the current state of research.
You think woodworking is bad, you should try leatherworking. I've had
people inform me that something was absolutely not period only to show them
examples of the decoration technique dating back as early as the 6th century. I
especially love the people who adamently argue that floral carved leather is
absolutely not period, it's new world. I then start informing them that the
leather necessary to carve leather wasn't even produced in the NEW world until
after the colonization, Acanthus leaves as a decorative device dates back to at
least the Greeks, and examples of tooled leather dates back to at least the 9th
century and embossed leather back to at least the 6th century. As most of
the most intricate leather decoration came out of Moorish Spain, any period
documentation would probably be illegible to most people in the SCA.
I do however have copies of four books by John W Waterer who spent over 40
years studying the history of leatherworking and founded a museum in
England dedicated to leatherworking . The last of these books was published
posthumously in 1973. The first was published in the 50s. They have some
wonderful pictures of period leather pieces. While access to the manuscripts
that Waterer used is probably impossible at this point (some of his research was
before WWII and a lot of Europe ended up in flames during those 6 years.) he did
include pictures of a number of period hand bills and art work. I especially
love the handbill with a song dedicated to the makers of leather bottels. It was
the medieval version of a canteen. Lighter and more durable than ceramic or
glass, and less expensive than metal, soldiers of all ranks carried them on
campaign. The book actually has a photo of one that belonged to a Plantagenet
prince. I've actually taught a class at collegiums on period leather decorating
techniques and included documentation so people have an answer for the self
appointed authenticity authority who tries to rain on their parade.
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